Finalists are announced for M Restaurant’s second Young Chef of the Year competition
M Restaurant and Bookatable by Michelin, in association with Champagne Pommery, have announced the finalists of the second Young Chef of the Year competition. The competition seeks out the best young talent in kitchens across London and the UK and, in response to reported post-Brexit staff shortages, this year is looking to inspire young talent and encourage others to start a career within the hospitality industry.
M Founder Martin Williams said about the award: “There are two purposes of the competition: to nurture the best young talent already in our kitchens and, secondly, I hope that by seeing what other young people are doing with food, it will inspire others to get into the professional kitchen and try it out for themselves! Thanks to Brexit the hospitality industry is suffering from worrying staff shortages and we want to make becoming a chef an aspirational career to students coming out of schools and colleges.”
The 12 finalists, who are all under the age of 29, are currently working in some of the UK’s top restaurants, such as Hide, Pollen St Social, Coal Shed and The Curlew. To apply, each entrant submitted an original four-course menu at £45 per head together with costings for 50 covers. As finalists, the young chefs will host their own five-day pop-up at M in Victoria Street’s RAW Restaurant between 3rd and 28th July, with diners and judges voting for their favourite menu. Some of the finalists’ dishes will include 22-year-old Hamish Pearce’s Venison with fermented green Gazpacho, new potato sauce, onion and chard and Sheep’s Milk Ricotta to follow; Mateusz Mitka’s King scallop & Oyster Cracker, plankton sauce, sea herbs, yuzu and fennel; Pan-fried Sea Trout and an Orange and Basil Posset with macerated peaches, Frangelico biscuits and milk sorbet by Adebayo Folarin; and The Curlew’s Daniel Andree’s Blackberry Bavarois with liquorice, bitter chocolate and raspberry. Each menu will also include a glass of Champagne Pommery for each guest.
The menus will be judged by Martin Williams, M Group Executive Chef Michael Read and leading chefs including Adam Handling, Andy Lynes, Claudio Cardoso, Sophie Michell, Daniel Watkins, Jose Pizzaro, Michael Wignall, Steve Dinneen, Sudi Pigott and Tom Kemble.
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 31st July 2018. Prize categories include the Young Chef of the Year Winner, Young Chef of the Year Runner Up, Best Dish, voted for by the judges, and Best Social Campaign, as voted by Bookatable. The winner of the award will be able to enjoy a trip to Champagne and a set of Blenheim Forge knives, while both the winner and runner up will be granted a five-day pop-up residency at RAW restaurant between 6th and 18th August.
The competition finalists are:
Ollie Fitton, 21 – The Ryebeck Hotel, Bowness on Windemere
Adebayo Folarin, 22 – Opera Tavern
Hamish Pearce, 22 – Hide
Jamie Gardner, 23 – Coal Shed
William Bowman Smith, 24 – Galloways of Woburn
Stefano Camplone, 24 – Neo Bistro
Daniel Andree, 25 – The Curlew Restaurant
Aaron Ashmore, 27 – Clarette
Mateusz Maksymilian Mitka, 28 – Hotel Farnborough
Wojieck Okenski, 29 – M
Andrew Beynon, 29 – Pollen St Social
Filippo Boaro, 24 – M
The editorial unit
The 20 finalist pop-up nights will take place at M Victoria, Zig Zag Building 74 Victoria St SW1E 6SQ, from 3rd until 28th July 2018. To view each pop-up menu or to book visit the Bookatable website here.
For further information about M visit the restaurant’s website here.